Friday, October 23, 2009

Here is a fiction writer struggling with new media: I find that when I'm feeling jaunty and want to be funny, I go to twitter; when I'm feeling wistful, I go to the blog. But wistfulness feels more useful poured into fiction. So I haven't updated.

But! This is obviously a cause close to my heart: The Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education, and Awareness Act, which was introduced by Representatives Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

We need letters. Stories. This happened to me, that happened to my sister. Narrative and names to go along with the appalling statistics.

Fact sheet on the Bill, with highlights.

Full text.

The act needs support. A dear friend of mine who lost her 18-month-old son to SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child) earlier this year is going to Washington on November 11th, with other bereaved parents, and tells me they need letters by NOVEMBER 10th, particularly if you live in Massachusetts, New York State, and above all New Hampshire. You can even send e-mails, addressed to the appropriate senator, to from which they will be forwarded to leadership. Include your name and mailing address within the document--they're looking for local stories.

If you've lost a child, you don't need encouragement. If you know someone who has and always wondered what you could do, here's something you can.

Senator John Kerry, D-MA
Senator Paul Kirk, D-MA

Senator Judd Gregg, R-NH

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-MA